Thursday, August 06, 2009

In-law San Diego Trip 2009

This year's trip to the beach was the best yet.

We brought our sitter/ sixth member of the family- Morgan. It was the best money we ever spent. Also, the cousins got on swimmingly (pardon the pun). Of course you always love your family...but this year they all just gelled.

There were a few rough patches
(here Garrett has just realized that he is not getting out of his padded swimsuit...oh the horror!)

But for the most part it was sun, sand and surf every day.

The kids got buried...of course.

All of the cousins/uncles/+grandpa helped in sandcastle endeavors.
Garrett could only take so much sand plastered to his sunblock-coated head. He would crash in our beach tent for naps, or head back to the room with the sitter.
Shelby and her cousin Ellison were equally matched for wit and spirit!
These two COULD-NOT-STOP-EATING-CHIPS. Like father, like daughter.
Here Shelby is, riding Cousin David's whale, who always builds fabulous sand creations.
After One million years of coming to the same beach, the same time, year after year and cooking for everyone, at every meal, Martha finally caught a tiny break this year. Each of her kid's took a dinner and she got to run around and refill drinks, and wipe down tables, and fetch ketchup for know, all the relaxing things that you would want to do if you didn't have to cook for forty every night.

Here Susan is, handing out her out-of-this-world-cookies that she made the dough for before she drove to San Diego, just so she could share "The World's Best Cookie" with us. This was the evening of her meal, which began with spicy sausage and goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms, followed with an heirloom tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella and basil from the farmer's market. And a main course of salmon with fresh lemon and dill with Parmesan risotto and baby peas. OK, is she amazing, OR WHAT! We all bow to her...really we do! Shelby had grabbed my camera and got a picture of Gavin's Dad (her grandpa) smiling! Well, almost...but this is the closest that I have gotten to a smile from him on my camera. Good job Sis!
Two of my beautiful and kind sisters-in-law.
Me and my oh-so-cool-niece.
Here is Karen, my other sis-in-law, who made the most unbelievable birthday cake with dark chocolate, the night that we celebrated mine, and Megan's birthdays. (and her cute baby Charlotte).
Good times in our hotel room. Did I mention how much we loved having our sitter with us?
OK, so the day before we left, we went to Sea World. I had never been. The kids had never been. I had ZERO expectations. I generally hate amusement parks, or any place really where churros and funnel cakes are a main staple of the menu being offered. However, I was completely impressed by Sea World...and so were the kids. Here Shelby feeds some sea lions, seals (not sure which?) some fish that we had purchased for the low low price of $6 a basket (of course we had to have three baskets). We had to have three because one out of every three fish was snatched right out of Shelby's hands by this SOB:
We then went to a dolphin show (with our pink and blue cotton candy).
Now, if I were to tell you that Shelby loved these dolphins I would be lying.
Because she didn't love them...she adored them. She wanted to marry them. She died she loved them so much. It was painful because her heart was about to explode out of her chest from all of the love that she felt for these little darling creatures who she wanted to take home and marry and have dolphin babies with.
Then she fed some sea turtles, on the Behind-The-Scenes-Tour that we went on.

We met up with the boys and went to another Dolphin Show where we sat in the "Splash Zone" which meant that you got actual water that had actually touched a dolphin drenching your whole body when they swam by and flicked their oh-so-cute-little-tails. Although, after the first splash, Shelby didn't think it was quite so cute.
We went back to our hotel for a bit of a rest, and then came back for the next round of fun...The Shamu Rocks Show!
Again, the boys wanted to be in "The Splash Zone", while the three of us sat up high and dry.
We are so excited for the show!
And then it starts.
Now, I get that there is a special bond between these gorgeous creatures and their trainers. But in this show it got a little weird. The song "Endless Love" is blasting, as this trainer is straddling the Whale and caressing it....get a hotel room already!
Here she is giving him a big smooch at the end.

luckily, in between all of the endless loving of man and whale, the boys got a couple good splashes. Here Dalton is, showing us the proof with his drenched shirt.
Funnel cakes had been promised early in the day, and you CAN NOT go to Sea World, and not have a funnel cake. So, we got one, and oh boy...that will for sure be a once-in-a-lifetime-thing for me. Here Gavin is with the beautiful delicacy in front of him. How he is smiling, I don't know, because at this point I was so tired I was about to drop over dead.
Sea the "Baby Shamu" in the little purse? Yes, that was Shelby's souvenir of the day. She decided that the dolphins weren't really that cool. Shamu was really the best after all.
Cousin Jeffery, Dalt and Shelby riding on what they said looked like Baby Garrett. Did I mention that we had left him with the sitter all day. Oh, thank goodness for that. He would have been shark bait for sure.
And then there was some simulated arctic helicopter ride that the boys just HAD to go we did. And Shelby was kind of freaked out, as it looked like we were going to crash in to a giant ice cap in the middle of the ocean...but then we survived!...and we hovered over a Mama polar bear and her it was all worth it in the end.

We saw penguins, manatees, sharks, and a bunch of other things that like cold water. Each exhibit was more impressive than the next. I really felt like it was worth every penny we spent on admission. LOVED it.
And we ended the night with a fireworks show....

and some toy penguins for the boys.


Emily said...

Shelby has the brightest smile. EVER. Absolutely adorable.

Garret was hilarious in his sumo bathing suit! Poor kid!

That whale was AMAZING.

Your sitter is ripped. Does she double as your body guard?

You are as beautiful (and tiny!) as ever.

Looks like you had a great time.

matty said...

ashley nice have a beautiful family.

elizabeth said...

I look like an idiot with a cookie. It's ok. I'll live.